Laura The Gastronaut > Recipes > Appetizer > Crab Rangoon Dip

Crab Rangoon Dip

February 25, 2022 | Laura Bullock

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If you love crab rangoons (and I mean who doesn't?) you will absolutely love this crab rangoon dip. This dip is basically a deconstructed crab rangoon that is covered with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. When eaten with wonton chips, it will be difficult to stop eating it because it's so good!

Crab Rangoon Dip Recipe with Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce and Wonton Chips

Sweet, Sour, and Addicting

I can still remember the first time I was introduced to crab rangoons. I fell in love immediately. I would soon become to crave those fried, savory, and slightly sweetened appetizers a lot.. especially when they were dipped in a that delicious pink sweet and sour sauce.

This crab dip is one of my favorites, not only because of its delicious flavors, but because it's very simple and quick to make. I like to fry up so wonton wrappers to use as dippers, and the little bit of extra effort to make them is so worth it. It's the perfect appetizer!

This creamy dip is sure to be a crowd pleaser whether served at a party, an appetizer at a dinner, or a treat to go with a yummy cocktail!

Hot Crab Rangoon Dip Recipe Ingredients

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Cream Cheese: This savory dip has a cream cheese base to give it structure and flavor. Also, if you've ever had actual crab rangoons you know that cream cheese is the main ingredient in them as well!

Sour Cream: Since the filling of crab rangoon just consists mostly of cream cheese, I started creating this recipe with only cream cheese as the base. However, the consistency just wasn't right for a dip so I put a bit of sour cream with the cream cheese. The consistency was much better and the classic crab rangoon flavor was still there.

✽ Lump Crab Meat: I tried this recipe with both canned lump crab meat and imitation crab meat. While both were good, the lump crab meat had the best flavor! However, if you only have imitation crab meat on hand, you should still go for it. You could even use fresh crab meat if you have it!

✽ Green Onions: Adds a bit of sharpness to the dip and flavor.

✽ Garlic: Opting to use fresh garlic rather than garlic powder made this dip taste so good.

✽ Powdered Sugar: My favorite restaurant crab rangoons have a touch of sweetness to them. So adding in a bit of powdered sugar helped mimic the actual taste of a crab rangoon.

✽ Soy Sauce + Fish Sauce: These two sauces will add savoriness and some salt that will contrast perfectly with the sweetness of the dip. I love the umami the fish sauce brings to this dip. However, if you don't have fish sauce on hand, you can swap it out with worcestershire sauce.

✽ Sweet & Sour Sauce: Every time I order crab rangoons from a restaurant, I must have that delicious pink sweet and sour sauce to dip them in. This homemade sweet and sour sauce whips up in no time. It's made with only 5 ingredients- rice vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, pineapple juice, and cornstarch. It's sweet, sour, and pairs so well with this crab rangoon dip.

✽ Crispy Wonton Chips: While you can eat this dip with tortilla chips, I highly recommend using wonton chips. You can buy fried wonton chips or wonton strips at the store, but it's so easy and so worth it to make homemade wonton chips at home.

Cream Cheese Crab Dip with Wonton Chips and Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

How to Make Crab Rangoon Dip with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

Make the wonton chips: In a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, pour in about 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil. Using a frying thermometer, heat the oil to 360°F. Cut 15 square wonton wraps in half, and line a plate with paper towels.

Once the oil is heated, carefully add a few wonton halves to the hot oil and fry for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes until they are golden brown on both sides, flipping them over if needed. You do not want to crowd the pan or have the wontons touching while frying.

Also watch the temperature of the oil during the frying process as it will fluctuate and try to maintain it at 360°F. Remove wontons with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined plate. Return oil to 360°F, and continue cooking until all wontons have been fried.

➋ Preheat oven to 400°F.

➌ In a large bowl, mix together 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 6 ounces canned lump crab meat, 2 sliced green onions (saving back 1 tablespoon of the greens to top the dip at the end), 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Continue mixing it all together until smooth and well combined.

➍ Transfer cream cheese mixture to a 1-quart baking dish and spread until even.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned on top.

➏ While the dip is baking, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons ketchup, and 2 tablespoons pineapple juice. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons pineapple juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and set aside.

Place the saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar has completely dissolved. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry, and cooking, whisking constantly, until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.

❼ Once the dip is done baking, pour the sweet and sour sauce on top of the dip in an even layer. Sprinkle with the reserved green onion slices, and serve the hot dip with wonton chips. Enjoy!

Crab Rangoons: History

What is a crab rangoon?

A traditional crab rangoon is an appetizer that is cream cheese, crab meat, garlic, scallions, and a few other flavorings wrapped in a wonton wrapper. It is then deep fried and sometimes served with a sweet and sour sauce. They have many a take-out favorite for many years.

You may also see them called crab puffs or cheese wontons. While you can find crab rangoons in a Chinese restaurants in America, it is unlikely they originated in China.

Where did crab rangoons originate?

It seems that crab rangoons have been around since the 1950s when they showed up on a menu at a restaurant named Trader Vic's, a tiki bar chain, in California. There's a good chance that the owner of the restaurant, Victor Bergeron, had a hand in inventing what we know today as crab rangoons.

According to Atlas Obscura, Joe Young was a Chinese-American barback at Trader Vic's in the 1930s, and he had a lot to do with what made it on to the original menu. Eve, Victor's granddaughter, says that Victor loved experimenting with food and drink, and began to create food with wonton wrappers. And I know firsthand from cooking a lot of 1940s and 1950s recipes, cream cheese was a big deal during those years.

So alas, the crab rangoon was born. Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar (formerly Burma), used to be called Rangoon. Myanmar has a large Chinese influence and Victor probably named the appetizer after this city because it was in a Southeast Asia-Polynesia-South Pacific zone and sounded exotic.

And I'll also mention that since imitation crab didn't come around until the 1970s, Victor was using real crab meat along with A.1 steak sauce and Lingham's Chili Sauce.

Looking for more appetizer recipes?

→ Check out all of my favorite appetizers!

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Crab Rangoon Dip with Sweet and Sour Sauce served with wonton chips

Crab Rangoon Dip

By Laura Bullock | Laura The Gastronaut
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

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If you love crab rangoons (and I mean who doesn't?) you will absolutely love this crab rangoon dip. This dip is basically a deconstructed crab rangoon that is covered with a sweet and sour sauce. When eaten with wonton chips, it will be difficult to stop eating it because it's so good!

*Some of these ingredient links may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.*

Ingredients

For Dip:

• 8 oz cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 6 oz lump crab meat
• 2 green onions, sliced; reserving 1 tablespoon of the greens for topping
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar
• 1 teaspoon soy sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For Sauce:

• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 2 tablespoons ketchup
• 1/4 cup pineapple juice, divided
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch

For Serving:

Wonton Chips, see notes below if you want to fry your own (highly recommended)!

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Make the dip: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the dip. Mix well until smooth and everything is well combined.
Transfer dip to a 1-quart baking dish and spread into an even layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
Make the sauce: While the dip bakes, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup, and 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice and cornstarch.
Place the saucepan over medium heat, and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring frequently. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry, and continue whisking until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat.
Once the dip is done baking, layer the sauce on top. Sprinkle with reserved green onion. Serve warm with wonton chips (recommended- see notes below for instructions on how to fry wonton wrappers), tortilla chips, or pita chips.

Notes

To fry wonton chips, cut 15 square wonton wrappers in half, and line a plate with paper towels. In a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, add in 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil. Using a frying thermometer, heat the oil to 360°F.

Carefully add a few halved wonton wrappers into the oil. Do not crowd the pan. You do not want them to touch. Fry the wonton wrappers for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, flipping them over halfway through the cooking time, if needed.

During the frying process, the temperature of the oil will fluctuate. Adjust the heat to ensure that it stays close to 360°F the entire time.

Remove the fried wontons from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined plate. Once the oil is back at 360°F, repeat the process. Continue until all of the wonton wrappers have been fried.

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Category: Appetizers, Seafood, Super Bowl Cuisine: American
Keywords: crab rangoon dip, hot crab dip, creamy crab dip

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More Dip Recipes:

Homemade Queso Dip (what's better than melted cheese?)
Black Bean Dip (this delicious bean dip could not be easier to make)
Fava Bean Dip (this hummus-like dip is so addicting and good)
→ Check out all of my appetizer recipes!

Bon appétit!

February 25, 2022 by Laura Bullock

*This Crab Rangoon Dip blog post and recipe may contain some Amazon affiliate links. These link to products that I personally use and recommend. If you purchase anything using my links, it will not cost you anything. It will though give laurathegastronaut.com some financial support which helps me keep this blog running. Thank you for reading my blogs and your continued support.